Supporting Social/Emotional Needs at Home during COVID19
During this pandemic, it's more important than ever to support our families emotionally. Whether you're full-time home schooling or barely fitting it in between your own work, the social/emotional needs of our children remain a priority. At BMSA, we focus on creating life-long learners. As you think about supporting your child, I encourage you to make the skills of emotional-regulation and social competence a high priority. And you don't have to start from scratch. Below are some ways you can build off what your child has learned at BMSA:
Make a schedule that works for your family and post it for children to see.
Predictable routines help calm our minds. This is valuable for all members of the family. It can and should be a somewhat flexible routine, but try to keep some things consistent.
- A suggested routine is included in your teacher's weekly plans. Post this or your own modified version for all to see.
- More resourrces on creating a home schedule
Talking to your kids about COVID19:
- Answering difficult questions: https://consciousdiscipline.com/responding-to-difficult-questions/ This page has an excellent library of questions children might be asking and gives advice about how to be honest and reassuring. It's even broken down into how the child asks the questiion (with distress/calmly).
- Brains On has an educational podcast for kids to understand what COVID19 is and what they can do to keep healthy. There is a script of the podcast you can review if you want to see what your kids will hear first.
Build off what they've learned at BMSA:
Your family can use the same language that they've learned at school to talk about feelings, work with each other, and solve problems. Use the resources on our site to remind your children (and yourself) about the following:
- Zones of Regulation & Calming Choices: You can print and post the poster that is in every classroom at BMSA or your child can create their own with calming choices more suited to home.
- Toolbox Tools: You may print off the poster with all the tools for display, or make your own.
- We are resilient: Students learn that resilience (the ability to bounce back from difficult things) is something they can build. We talk about the meaning of the word resilience and how a bouncy ball has much more resilience than a bowling ball. By engaging in activities that make our heart smile, make our brains or physical bodies stronger, or help us feel connected to others, we become more resilient. The students brainstorm things they like to do in each of the 4 categories. It would be worth another brainstorm session at home to include activities that are available during the stay-home order. Learn more about teaching children resilience and download activities here.
- Restorative Practices: When conflict arises, as it's bound to in any family, use the 5 restorative questions to make things right.